June 29 (UPI) -- Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is serving a prison sentence for corruption, could be released early, as soon as Sunday, officials said.
Olmert has served 16 months of a 27-month sentence after his 2014 conviction on charges of bribery, obstruction of justice and fraud relating to a scandal when he was mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003. Olmert was convicted of accepting bribes related to a large housing project he approved.
Olmert, 71, served as prime minister from 2006 to 2009, but resigned when investigators recommended charges against him related to the bribery allegations.
Olmert was hospitalized last week after complaining of chest pains. He was taken from prison to a hospital, where a photo of him looking gaunt in a hospital gown spread on social media, prompting calls for leniency. Olmert has since been cleared of medical problems and returned to his prison cell.
His lawyer said a plea for leniency was accepted by an Israeli parole board, which reduced Olmert's sentence by one-third. Absent an appeal by prosecutors, Olmert is scheduled to be released Sunday with the condition he spend time working for charity once he is let go.
The decision was praised by some Israeli politicians.
Environmental Protection Minister Ze'ev Elkin, a member of the Kadima Party Olmert once led, welcomed the decision, saying Olmert has "paid his debt to society and anyone else in his position would have been released long ago."